14 April 2007

What we got at the market today

We went to the outdoor market in Saint-Aignan this morning and here's what we bought.

Click the picture to see it in full size

Strawberries: these are locally grown (in the Sologne) and are called gariguettes. They are not the same strawberry variety as the ones you get in California, which are, according to what I've read, the same ones they grow in Spain and export to France and the rest of Europe. The gariguette strawberries are sweeter and juicier — as a general rule, anyway. Strawberry season is just beginning here.

Fraises, pain, et asperges

Asparagus: these are also local and in season. They are asperges blanches, white asparagus. We buy them from a man who sets up a table right next to Mme Doudouille's stand. I think the man who sells the asparagus also grows them, and his prices are good (€6 a kilo right now — that would be $3.50 a pound or so with a euro at $1.35, if you can believe that). The ones he had for sale today were just beautiful.

Jambon de Savoie en tranches

Ham: the slices of ham come from Mme Doudouille (yes, she is still here — it's a long story). They are slices of jambon de Savoie, ham from the Savoy region in the Alps — what is called jambon cru, raw ham, in France. Walt is going to use them with the asparagus...

Navets nouveaux — spring turnips

Turnips: these are baby turnips that one of the farmers brings to town to sell. I don't yet know what I am going to do with them, but they looked good.

Bread: the baguette was delivered, before we went to the market, by Roselyne the bread lady. It's made every morning by the baker in our village.

Le rôti de chez le volailler

the little rolled roast is a rôti de pintade farci that we bought from the poultry vendor, or volailler, whose stall is right across from Mme Doudouille's charcuterie stall. That's a stuffed guinea-fowl roast. The woman behind the counter said it was stuffed with ground poultry (could be chicken, turkey, or guinea fowl, I guess) and herbs and spices. Volaille means fowl, and the volailler (vuh-ly-AY) is the person who sells poultry.

I'm cooking the roast right now. Here's what it looked like a few minutes after going into the oven.

Rôti de pintade farci — stuffed, rolled guinea-fowl roast

And here's a scan of the paper that the roast was wrapped in. These poultry people are the ones who agreed to pluck a pheasant for me a couple of years ago when our neighbor gave us one he had shot. I like to buy from them because they were so nice about that, and did it for free.

Volailles = fowl, poultry
Lapins 1er choix = "grade A" rabbits
Fromages de chèvre = goat cheeses
Markets: Fri. Montrichard, Sat. St-Aignan

These are also the people from whom I bought a rabbit last weekend. I'm still working on a posting about how I cooked that rabbit.


  1. YUM.....I'm heading to paris in early May & am renting a small apt so I can enjoy the wonderful bounty from the markets.....cheese is always my first purchase

  2. Melinda, I hope you have a good time in Paris. I wonder what neighborhood you will be in. As for cheese, there were 12 or 15 people in line at the cheese stall in Saint-Aignan this morning, so I skipped it. If I really want something there I'll stand in the line, and the selection is excellent. But today I was focused more on asparagus and strawberries.

  3. Ken,
    That asparagus looks great. Do you peel it before you cook it? I have tried it a few times and can never seem to get it quite right. Then in restaurants, we have it and its excellent. The best we ever had was in a little place right across from the side door of Chartres cathedral.

    I am recovering slowly from my attack and we are thinking hard about the changes I have had to make in my diet. We still want to eat well! Even without red meat, butter, cheese, and wine. I have a beautiful Dover Sole ready for dinner today. Best wishes from the Martins.

  4. I love these market pics and am proud to announce that my local grocer finally had strawberries from the Lot and asparagus from the Tarn et Garonne! I had to pay 7.50 euros for the asparagus, though.

    I don't get to the markets very often. That is one of the great tragedies of my life in France at the moment!

  5. Bonjour Dennis, good to hear from you and know you are OK. For the asparagus, yes the white ones must be peeled before cooking and the need to simmer for a long time, 12 or even 15 minutes. I'm not supposed to eat them because they can cause gout attacks, but I eat them anyway ... in moderation. I'll take pictures of Walt's asparagus concoction tomorrow.

    Betty, isn't there a Saturday morning market somewhere near you? Or Sunday? I shop more in supermarkets than in outdoor markets too, but I try to go to the Saint-Aignan market on Sat. a.m. whenever the weather is nice.

  6. There is a lovely Saturday morning market in Rodez but the problem is the morning part. It's about a 20 minute drive and since I go to work there almost every day during the week, I try not to do too many "aller-retour"(s?) during the weekend, and like just hanging around on Saturday morning.

    There are some nice weekday markets closer and now that my work schedule is slowing down I MUST make the effort to go to them occasionally...but usually I'm at work.


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